Your personality and your e-personality

News reporters work on their laptop computers in the shadows of a high school gymnasium.

It's kind of an evil twin thing when you think about it. The normal you understands social conventions, has manners, behaves in a largely reasonable fashion. But then there's the you online who tends to be aggressive, picks fights, acts impulsively. Dr. Elias Aboujaoude says we all carve out what he calls "e-personalities" and they're a lot more likely to be jerks than our personalities who live in the real world.

That, he says, can cause a lot of problems. He sees the e-personality escaping from its cage and creeping into more parts of day-to-day society. He sees the behavior that happened at health care debates last year as being very much informed by the inflammatory rhetoric associated with online forums. And while he won't say that online culture led to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, he thinks that the climate in which the shooting took place could be an indirect effect of the Internet. "It was a YouTube video played out in real life," he says.

Also in this program, the Google Translate app is available for iPhone. It's probably not meant to be as hilarious as it actually is.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.


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